between Macron and Zelensky, a turbulent relationship

Will Emmanuel Macron finally go to Ukraine? A small statement to say that this visit to kyiv is eagerly awaited by Volodymyr Zelensky. Especially since the French president will travel to Romania on Tuesday, June 14 to greet 500 French soldiers deployed at a NATO base. He who assumes the rotating presidency of the European Union until June 30 must go to Moldova, before the possible trip to kyiv?

The Elysée does not dismiss the speculation even if the contours of such a visit are still difficult to emulate. “Nothing has been done” at this stage, France’s leadership was still promised on Tuesday. According to La Stampa and German media, Emmanuel Macron may visit the Ukrainian capital this Thursday, June 16, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky.

A meeting that the Ukrainian president, who became the warlord that now comprises the Moscow resistance, has always called in the same way to join Europe. Such a visit will take place when the EU is due to decide at a summit on June 23-24 whether to grant Ukraine official candidate status in Kyiv. The European Commission must give its opinion before the end of the week.

Zelensky, a Ukrainian Macron?

Such a visit would result in a troubled relationship between the two men since the beginning of the invasion. In the beginning, the two forty -year -olds (44 years old each) liked each other and used familiar terms. And if comedian Zelensky is set to win the presidency in 2019, he has in mind to copy the same twist as Emmanuel Macron two years ago.

However, even if their phone conversation before and since the war was never interrupted (about thirty calls since December), the Russian invasion on February 24 disrupted this conspiracy between the two leaders. Fearful diplomacy in Paris, his desire to continue dialogue with Moscow annoys the kyiv side, while Emmanuel Macron continues to believe in a diplomatic resolution of the conflict.

“A table where (…) we don’t set a chair for you”

In mid -May, Volodymyr Zelensky thus criticized Emmanuel Macron for wanting to provide an “exit door” for Vladimir Putin. “I knew he wanted to get results of mediation between Russia and Ukraine”, but he didn’t get it “, he stated, referring to the many exchanges of the president of France with his Russian counterpart and himself before the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine but also since

The French proposal to make a “European political community” also wrong. Macron wants to allow Ukraine to join the European project without waiting for full and complete EU membership that will take “decades”. Except that Zelensky prefers direct membership. “It’s like a table where the whole family gathers, and you’re invited, but you’re not given a seat. I don’t think it’s fair “he believed.

Don’t ’embarrass Russia’

The tone rose again on June 4 when Emmanuel Macron called “not to embarrass Russia so that the day the fighting stops, we can find a way out through diplomatic channels. ”What are we talking about here? About the fact that for eight years they have been killing Ukrainians? We, no one is ashamed us, but we were killed ”, he reacted.

Regular friction and a desired date The French president who nonetheless went to kyiv on February 7 and 8 slowly to return there, repeatedly reiterated that he would go to kyiv “at a good time”. Some are there: Europeans Charles Michel and Ursula von der Leyen, the british Boris Johnson, the canadian Justin Trudeau... The new French Minister of Foreign Affairs Catherine Colonna may have made the trip at the end of May, Emmanuel Macron, he is still waiting there.

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